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The Kingdom of Eswatini

Ngwenya Mine & Lion Cavern

Ngwenya, which means crocodile, describes the shape of Eswatini’s (Swaziland’s) second-highest mountain, looming above the Ngwenya border post. On its southern flank is the oldest mine in the world – an iron ore mine dated by archaeologists to at least 43,000 years ago. The mineral mined here was specularite, an ore with a glittering sheen that was traditionally worn by chiefs as body paint for ceremonial occasions. All that remains today of the ancient mine is a modest hole in the hillside, known as Lion Cavern – not to be confused with the much larger flooded quarry nearby, left by more modern mining operations. You can visit the mine on a guided tour.

An excellent Ngwenya visitor centre, was opened in 2005, displaying some fascinating exhibits, including samples of the various mineral deposits, archive photographs of early mining days, a life-size diorama of an iron-age smelter at work, and a British-built steam engine that was shipped to Swaziland in 1913. Sadly the building burned down in late 2018 and has yet to be re-built.

Activities at Ngwenya Mine & Lion Cavern
Accommodation at or near Ngwenya Mine & Lion Cavern
Umushi weNkosazane Resort and Spa
Malolotja Nature Reserve
Lodge set within picturesque setting of Malolotja
Mbabane Lodge with delightful view of Nkoyoyo Mountains
Delightful guesthouse conveniently close to the capital city of Mbabane
Self catering apartments conveniently located in Mbabane.
Brand new state of the art hotel in the heart of Mbabane perfect for leisure and business travellers.
Small and intimate lodge set on Malagwane Hill with stunning surrounding views.
Sibebe Resort
Mbabane
Traditional African chalets set high upon the hills of Mbabane close to Sibebe Rock.
Luxurious cottages with self catering facilities surrounded by beautiful gardens.
The Place
Mbabane
Small guesthouse with all the amenities and facilities of home right by the capital.
Small and welcoming guest house in the rural town of Pigg's Peak.
Modern and peaceful lodge with stunning views across the Pine Valley.
Large hotel with luxury suites, conference facilities and an onsite casino.
Phophonyane Falls Ecolodge
Phophonyane Nature Reserve
Stunning rustic and alternative accommodation in a diverse and tropical nature reserve.
Beautifully presented hotel with unbeatable views of Ezulwini Valley.
Maguga Lodge
Maguga Dam
Tradtional rondavel chalets and campsite overlooking the exquisite Maguga Dam.
A 4 berth boat on Maguga Dam with self catering facilities you can hire!
Conveniently located guesthouse perfect for tourists and business travellers
Hawane Resort
Malolotja Nature Reserve
Unique chalet accommodation with great food and activities
Malolotja Cabins
Malolotja Nature Reserve
Self Catering Cabins with panoramic views of Malolotja
Luxury Guest House with breathtaking views
Pleasent guest house close to the capital city
Esquisite guest house set in a beautiful garden.
Guest House with a fantastic view of Mbabane
Luxury Bed & Breakfast with supurb views
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Ngwenya Mine & Lion Cavern